This will be another one of those probably awfully inappropriate posts, adding another that only includes Ukrainian bands to this series. And this time around they don’t even seem to still be active, or at least the two actual new finds don’t have new material or any other activity that I can find in years and the third, which is the one Ukrainian band that I still had on the list, ceased to exist in that form several years ago, though it can be said to have a successor, as a two-person project, but the songs posted under that name seem to be in Ukrainian. And yes, I’m aware that there is one more band on that list that has Ukraine listed as the country, but it’s from Sevastopol and they seem to consider themselves Russian, so they’re part of the problem and I won’t even mention their name now. Either way, once again, I can only hope that the members of these bands will make it through this, along with the rest of the Ukrainians and the country as a whole… And with all of us in this part of the world, and not only.
Kreigen is the band I specifically meant to include this time around, albeit more for what they attempted than for what they actually achieved, this kind of operatic metal with several vocalists requiring production values that they obviously lacked and also more experience than they strike me as having. I’d say that Winter of the Wolf and Therion of Wawel turned out better than the rest, so those are my two picks, the first actually being what I happened to pick to listen to first and the reason why I was actually excited to stumble into this band before the other songs dampened my enthusiasm. Still, the potential is obvious and I’d have certainly liked them to continue.
The other new find is HeirThronE, which can be said to be here in order to have three bands in this post, being a generic power metal, or even simply heavy metal, band, with a rather rough sound and some weaknesses in the vocals. Still, they seem to be kids, or at least they were at the time this was recorded, and I’d actually say that they sound better than I’d have expected after seeing that picture. If you want to listen for yourselves, I’ll go with Metalhallow and Hero as my two picks.
As for the band that was already on the list and which I know is no longer active in this form, though two members continue under the name of Trouble|Me, that’s Sad Alice Said and my picks are Open Your Eyes and Fade. They’re the one band included in this post that seems fairly professional and experienced, and the sound is clean and smooth, quite pleasing to listen to, but it strikes me as rather weak, in the sense of lacking strength. Not that everything needs to have a powerful sound, of course, but it seems to me that they could use, or more exactly could have used, more force in order to truly be memorable.
After last week’s post, I’ll continue on this probably awfully inappropriate path, adding another along the same lines to this series, so again only having Ukrainian bands that are actual new finds for me, albeit from different parts of the country this time around. I’m still rushing even when it comes to picking the bands, not really using consistent criteria, but the three in this post do stick to my recent rule, having released new material, or in case of two of the three their only material, within the past year. Again, I can only hope that the members of these bands will make it through this, along with the rest of the Ukrainians and the country as a whole… And with all of us in this part of the world, and not only.
Again using the alphabetical order, I’ll start with Blessdivine, who only have one album so far, so both picks will have to be from it. It also seems to be another one of those infuriating cases of a label not allowing their bands to post their music on their own channels, and since it’s also from Italy I’m starting to wonder whether it’s something of a rule there, but I guess I’ll just have to deal with it and, since it’s the only song that they have at least a lyric video for, Servants of the Cross will have to be the first pick, while for the second I’ll go with A New Dawn. They have a pretty typical power metal sound, which also implies only male vocals, but they pull it off quite well, so I can’t complain, and found A New Dawn in particular to be quite enjoyable.
Defiant is a far more established band, so I just listened to the few songs that they have videos for and the two picks would be Breaker of Chains and Defiant… As strange as it is to see a self-titled song appearing quite a few albums into a band’s “life”. Either way, this is also power metal, and also only having male vocals, though they seem to have changed a few vocalists over the years and early on, when they weren’t singing in English, I’m seeing a female vocalist listed as well. But what I heard now shows that they’re confident, experienced, skilled, the instrumental parts also making me think of far better known bands at times.
As for Magic Infinity, they also only have one album released so far, and only two songs, Broken Heart and Nostradamus, posted separately, so I’ll take the easy way and go with them as my two picks. They also only have male vocals despite the fact that, at least based on these two songs, it seems fair enough to see them listed under Gothic, the sound leaning towards the theatrical, if I may use the term, so contrasting voices would definitely help. But at least there don’t seem to be growls, bar one little moment, at least as far as I could tell after quickly skipping through their other songs as well. Sadly, they seem to be badly suffering because of poor equipment, or at least it seems to me that the recording quality is poor and little, if any, work was done on the tracks after the recording itself, so what you can hear here is probably not what they’d really be capable of.
This is probably awfully inappropriate, but the current situation made me think of looking for some bands from Ukraine, and more specifically from Kyiv and Kharkiv, and adding another post in this series with them. Even picking the bands was rushed, having to do with what I happened to click on and what I didn’t dismiss at a glance that didn’t allow for consistent criteria to be used, but at least they are actual new finds… And I can only hope that their members will make it through this, along with the rest of the Ukrainians and the country as a whole… And with all of us in this part of the world, and not only.
I’ll go in alphabetical order and start with Delusion, who are from Kharkiv and just have two singles released, Neon Paradise and I Am Still Alive. Didn’t feel the need for other options though, these being more than enough to tell me that they have plenty of potential and deserve to be in such a post… And this would be the part where I’d say that I hope to hear more from them in the future, but in this particular situation that takes an entirely different meaning.
Next is Dominatos, from Kyiv, and they have male vocals, which makes them unusual among what I include in such posts, but those are good, powerful vocals and the sound is quite nice on plenty of the songs. It also strikes me as coming from a past age of rock and metal, but there may be times when that actually may be refreshing at the present time. Either way, for the first pick I’ll just go with their most recent release, Perfect World, while for the second, out of their older songs, let’s say Will You?.
And the third band is Scarleth, also from Kyiv but having apparently relocated there from Donetsk at some point, which in itself is saying something. They’re the most established of the three and have by far the most material released, but I have this feeling that I heard of them before and eventually dismissed them… And maybe I’d have done that now as well, but these were actually the only three bands I picked on that rushed first pass and Pain Is My Name, for which they just recently released a video, is something that would have caught my attention anyway. However, since I only listened to the three other songs that they have videos or lyric videos for, the fact that I’ll go with Voices as the second pick only means that it bothers me less than the others, having a nice enough sound overall, with the exception of those growls.
Even though I’m still not checking any groups, last night I found myself stumbling into a new band that’s about to release a first album later this month, and looking up its vocalists led me to two others. Since neither seem to have new material released since they joined, what I can post from those two other bands are songs recorded with other vocalists, so you can’t say that there’s a direct connection between the three bands included in this post, but I suddenly found myself with exactly three actual new finds and maybe just enough time on-line to listen to some of the songs and load the others, so if I can add another post to this series, albeit still a rushed one, this is what I’m doing.
That new band is Nocturna, and they’re with that label that doesn’t seem to allow their artists to have their own pages on music or video sites, but with exactly two songs, New Evil and Daughters of the Night, posted by the label so far, it makes things very simple for me when it comes to the picks. And I like this format with two operatic female vocalists that can join their voices and keep pushing the song forward, so they seem promising enough even if I’d say that, at least in these two songs, there’s nothing memorable in the composition as a whole and the instrumental part may even leave something to be desired.
With one of Nocturna’s vocalists also listed as a member of Angelize, this was my second find. Of course, with no new material seeming to have been released since she joined them, what I listened to may not say much about their current sound, assuming they’ll even remain active, especially since many years seem to pass between their albums and there were notable changes in the past as well. First they fortunately got rid of the growls I heard in the couple of older songs they posted but still only had male vocals, such as on City of Innocence, and then they added female vocals, such as on Gone. The overall impression remains that it’s quite an amateurish effort, that they’re trying to do too many things at once with the sound, the instruments tripping over each other and occasionally a section not seeming to fit the rest of the song at all and scratching my ears, plus that the recording quality is clearly not professional, but there are improvements, albeit slow ones, and the vocals also required plenty of them at the time of their last releases, so maybe the next ones, if there will be any, will be more memorable.
As for Nocturna’s other vocalist, she’s also a member of Septum, which was formed in Cuba but then apparently became an international project. They seem to mean to release something new soon, but I couldn’t find anything already released in their current format, so I have no idea how they’re going to sound and can just pick two songs out of the few older ones I listened to, those being The One You Loved and Quiet… Listen!. The recording quality is again a problem, but the songs themselves can be all right for a band at that stage and I actually expect them to be much better in their current format. I may well be proven wrong, of course, and I most probably won’t remember to check for myself, but it remains to be seen.
In the previous post from this series, I mentioned hoping to remember a band I wanted to include even though it had split up. Well, I didn’t remember it, but that was actually the second such band I knew I wanted to add in such a post, and it didn’t take me long to find two more to add to the one I’ve known for quite a while that I wanted to include. So this post contains three bands that aren’t just not new finds, but not even active anymore, yet I consider them to deserve to be mentioned, likely more so than quite a number of those I have included in such posts so far.
I’ll start with Victorians, who seem to have struggled to continue for quite a while before finally giving up for good, so material that was supposed to be on a second album exists, but only the first seems to have been released. And since I checked the list of tracks on that first album in a few different places and couldn’t find the one I initially picked, I’ll go with Descent of Your Destiny as first pick, just to be sure, and at least I also clearly remember listening to this one way back when I first heard of them. As for the second pick, that’s SteamHeart. I’m not as pleased with some of their other songs, but that’s mainly a matter of personal preferences, the sound showing confidence. They knew what style they wanted to approach, had the skills for it and should have released more, if only they’d have managed to stay together.
Next is DamageScape, which seems to have been a side project of the vocalist of Collibus to begin with, and that band is still active and even released new songs recently. But, to return to DamageScape, only a few songs were released under this name and, with one video, for Damage, and just one other song, Refrain, having a studio version officially posted somewhere, my picks are obvious. Interestingly, it’s this second one that I remember having listened to before, but maybe that’s because I like it more. But they’re both solid, powerful songs, showing the experience of the band members.
As for the third band, that’s Astray Path and I’m assuming that they split up because I’m not seeing any activity for the past five and a half years, but I also didn’t see any posts actually specifying that they split up and there are no pages for them on either The Metal Archives or Spirit of Metal, maybe because they list their genre as Gothic Rock. They do seem to have released at least three albums while they were active, but only a few songs are officially posted and I’ll go with Alone and Insomnia as my picks. Can’t find anything to not like in the others I listened to either, so it’s a pity they didn’t continue… And that they didn’t become much better known while they were active.